Everything My Mother Taught Me – Alice Hoffman

Everything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman

Adeline was named after a soap which her mother had stumbled across in a fancy shop. Adeline Lilac soap, for the uninitiated. Nora Ivie’s eccentricities did not however stop at naming her offspring after a substance used for the purposes of washing. Traipsing with a multitude of her ‘boyfriends’ in a tavern, in exchange for trinkets and money, when her husband was near death, meant that its was Nora’s soul and conscience that needed some serious cleansing. And when poor Adeline’s father dies, she is rendered literally incapable of speaking. The local church finds Nora an enviable job in a godforsaken island, forty miles north of Boston, at the tip of Cape Ann. The Ford, Fuller and Ballard families are the only inhabitants populating the island. The men in the families are tasked with the manning of two lighthouses on the island. Tasked with cooking and housekeeping for the three families, Nora strikes up a raging affair with the third and youngest lighthouse maintenance man, Rowan Ballard. Will Julia, his wife and young Adeline extricate themselves from the clutch of their respective maniacal relations?

Alice Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author has come up with a short story that is gob smacking in its impact and lively in its progress. The story of Adeline and Julia is a paradoxical journey of tumult and triumph.